One of the most common tumours of dogs is haemangiosarcoma of the spleen. This is a malignant cancer of blood vessels found especially in large breeds like German Shepherds. But just because they’re common doesn’t mean that every lump on a dog’s spleen is malignant.
Many of these dogs can go on to lead a normal life with the right treatment. Others cannot be saved, and treatment could do more harm than good.
Here I’m going to help you decide what to do if a vet finds a mass in your dog’s spleen.
This is a message to anyone still using GS- 441524 (commonly called “GS”) in Australia.
Back at the start I supported you when you were breaking the law. I even put my reputation on the line and stood up for you against threats of prosecution. My attitude was “let them try; they wouldn’t dare.”
Every few years there’s a story in the Australian media saying we should be keeping native mammals as pets. This always fills me with horror.
For I’m a vet working with pets in the Australian state with the slackest rules on owning native animals and I see the results. I also hold a Masters degree in Wildlife Medicine and Husbandry and have worked in zoological medicine.
I hope that by the time you finish this, you’ll understand why there are some animals who are uniquely suited to being pets, and others that almost never are. I’ll also debunk some common myths about keeping native animals everywhere, not just Australia.
Australian raw feeders are still coming to terms with the horse meat scandal that killed and maimed so many Victorian dogs. Given the potential risk of buying pet meats, it begs the question: is it worth it?
In my vet practice we support raw feeding, but that doesn’t mean we don’t also have a watchful eye. I’ll cover the risks first. By knowing them and their solutions, you can do it more safely.
Afterwards, I’ll feature some of the first evidence to show a benefit for raw puppy foods.
One of the saddest things I see are cats with breathing difficulties. That’s because they’re almost always brought to the vet too late. In fact, by the time their owners notice, they often don’t survive the car trip.
Here I’m going to give you a very simple trick to recognise when a cat is struggling to breathe. If you do it successfully, your cat will probably be OK.
For such a common problem, there’s a lot we don’t know about hairballs in cats. It’s yet another example of our tendency to overlook the everyday and focus on the rare. This is to the cost of cats everywhere.
When there’s a lack of hard evidence, we only have experience to go by. So I’ll use mine to help you answer the key questions put to me by cat owners.
I want to share with you a very sobering paper that should make us think harder anytime we feel a lump in a cat’s belly.
Five cats were presented to a veterinary teaching hospital with abdominal masses that could be felt during a routine exam. They all had the classic signs of intestinal obstruction: vomiting, listlessness and not eating.
The two eldest cats died. One, because her owner thought it was cancer and had her put down. The other, due to a delay in treatment, most likely due to a similarly fatalistic attitude.
The diagnosis in these five cases was a hairball. A thoroughly treatable problem.
Fast asleep he may appear, but as soon as a door or window opens, up comes his periscope head. If you aren’t quick enough, or the lock doesn’t click, he’s gone. Next thing, the whole family is out with torches (not the flaming kind but it feels that way) until he’s found and returned.
We do this because outdoor cats run a high risk of road trauma, fight abscesses and FIV infection. But sometimes he’s impossible to find. So I’ve always been interested in smart tech to help me, and recently I invested in an AirTag.
Possibly the most frustrating disease of cats is stomatitis. It can cause terrible suffering, and for a third of affected cats, nothing seems to work well. For the other two thirds, the only good option is an extreme one.
New treatments have made the control of stomatitis within the reach of more cats, and we may be on the cusp of even greater things.
This article is for settling in a puppy in the first few days after adoption. If your puppy is crying at night during these early nights, most of the advice you find online is not just unhelpful, it might even be harmful.
So let’s start with a few myths that need busting.
For nearly my whole career, I have used and recommended Feliway® for situations involving feline anxiety and stress. These might be urine spraying, inter-cat aggression, or even trips to the vet and cattery.
I have always been reassured that there is strong scientific evidence for its effectiveness. So it took until 2021 for me to do a thorough literature review of my own. I was shocked by what I found.
It’s not that Feliway doesn’t work at all. It’s just that it probably doesn’t work for most of the things it’s been promoted for.
Try any online search about canine anxiety and you will quickly come across Dog Appeasing Pheromone. Whether as DAP or by its brand name Adaptil®, you find many recommendations, quite a few articles and of course a lot of ads.
It sounds too good to be true. Can a harmless treatment undetectable to you or I really work to ease anxiety?
Driven by high levels of public approval, Australia is haphazardly but relentlessly moving towards greater containment of cats. I support cat curfews, and keep my own cat inside, but I still have concerns.
The big problem with cat laws in Australia is that they seem to be enacted by those who know the least about cats. It’s leading to unrealistic expectations and poor results.
I’ll discuss why that is in a minute, but to not sound negative I’ll start with the benefits of curfews.
Last week when I wrote about the shortage of Australian veterinarians, I laid the problems of our industry bare. Poor work conditions, inadequate support and low pay are just a few. They’re leading to what some people see as a crisis for the veterinary profession.
There’s something else contributing to the problem that I did not mention, because it’s tricky to bring up without blaming innocent people. It’s the deterioration of the relationship between vets and pet owners.
Are you looking for a puppy in Adelaide? Then no doubt you have already seen how hard it is to get one. There’s a massive demand for new puppies, and seemingly a reduced supply since the new dog breeding regulations came into effect.
Traditional sources like breeders and shelters have long waiting lists. The only quick and easy way to get a puppy is from a pet shop. I perfectly understand if you’ve thought about it. But before you make the commitment, there are a few things to consider.
Is this the single most important question of dog ownership? Could getting it wrong be the reason why so many dogs end up unhappy or worse?
I’m not going to solve it, because in 2021 that still isn’t possible. What I can do is show you some tantalising recent science that’s starting to give us glimpses of the truth . And what is said is probably also true for how cats hear us.
Oesophageal stricture is a rare but important problem for both dogs and cats. It happens when a narrowing forms in the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach. This creates a partial blockage for food and water.
In 2021 there are two drugs your vet may use to anaesthetise dogs and cats: alfaxalone and propofol. You can discover more about each one at the links, but here I will compare them for safety and efficacy.
Cushings disease is one of the most common diseases of dogs. The problem can be in getting an accurate diagnosis. Here I share some recent research that helps you know whether it could be the cause of illness in your dog.
This is important because no test is every 100% accurate.
The nightmare is almost over. Until very recently, a diagnosis of Feline Infectious Peritonitis was a death sentence. Either a slow, lingering decline or a decision to euthanase and spare the suffering. This happened to around 1% of cats, most of them kittens.
Then it was discovered that certain antiviral drugs could not only improve the symptoms, they could actually bring about a cure. But there was still a hitch.